Harteneck, Gustav


Good 1970 TLS in English on why he became a German military officer and his opposition to Bolschevism


Autograph ID: 6013
Condition: Very good, mail folds
Description: “(1892-1984) Highly decorated Wehrmacht General der Kavallerie (2nd highest General officer rank below Generaloberst). Chief of Operations 1st Army 1939-40, Chief of Staff XXVII Corps 1940-41, Chief of Staff 2nd Army on Eastern Front 1941-43. Commanded Division General-Government, led 72nd Division 1944 & 1st Cavalry Corps 1944-45. He was in the German cavalry in WW I, served in the interwar Reichswehr, and the Wehrmacht. Mostly serving on the Eastern Front, he fought in France, in “Operation Barbarossa” (invasion of Russia), Bialystok-Minsk (led the 72nd Infantry Division June 19-July 1, 1941), Moscow, Rzhev, Kursk, Smolensk (1943), Lublin-Brest Offensive, “Operation Fruhlingserwachen” (March 6-16, 1945, last major German offensive launched in Hungary in great secrecy, centered in the Lake Balaton area, with some of the last oil reserves available to the Germans), and the Vienna Offensive (April 2-13, 1945). He was captured by British troops in May 1945 and was held until 1947. He received the Iron Cross (1st & 2nd Class, 1914 and 1939) and other decorations in WW I; he received the Eastern Front Medal, the German Cross in Gold (March 20, 1942), the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross as General de Kavallerie and commander of 1st Cavalry Corps (Sept. 21, 1944), and Wehrmacht Long service Award (4th to 1st class). The German Army of 1941 had a single (horse) cavalry division assigned to Guderian’s panzer group. Continuously engaged against Soviet troops, it increased to 6 regiments and in early 1942 was reformed into the 24th Panzer Division that perished at Stalingrad. In April-June 1943, the Germans set up 3 separate cavalry regiments, horse units reinforced with tanks and halftrack-mounted infantry. In Aug. 1944 these regiments were reformed into 2 brigades and a division, forming, together with the Hungarian 1st Cavalry Division, Harteneck’s 1st Cavalry Corps that operated in Belorussia.

Good content TLS (“GHarteneck”) in English on his personal 11 ¾ x 8 ¼ letterhead, Grosshesselohe (West Germany), January 10 1940, initially apologizing for his poor English. General Harteneck notes he was a leader throughout childhood and became a military officer on conviction that France and England would not live in peace with Germany, a state late born and whose richness and force was quickly rising. He remained in the German cavalry after WW I, was long a general staff officer in the east. He adds: “In the last year of the war, I commandes the german cavalleriecorps against the bolchewists. There I and all my soldiers feeled that the bolschewism and the unconditional surrender could be the end of our country and of all the democracies in the world. For that we were forced to fight till to the bitter end.””
Type: Letter

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